Temperature monitoring by channel data delays: Feasibility based on estimated delays magnitude for cardiac ablation

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Ultrasound thermometry is based on measuring tissue temperature by its impact on ultrasound wave propagation. This study focuses on the use of transducer array channel data (not beamformed) and examines how a layer of increased velocity (heat induced) affects the travel-times of the ultrasound backscatter signal. Based on geometric considerations, a new equation was derived for the change in time delay as a function of temperature change. The resulting expression provides insight into the key factors that link change in temperature to change in travel time. It shows that velocity enters in combination with heating geometry: complementary information is needed to compute velocity from the changes in travel time. Using the bio-heat equation as a second source of information in the derived expressions, the feasibility of monitoring the temperature increase during cardiac ablation therapy using channel data was investigated. For an intra-cardiac (ICE) probe, using this “time delay error approach” would not be feasible, while for a trans-esophageal array transducer (TEE) transducer it might be feasible.

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